At their best, liberal film dramas that tackle the monumental issue of race in America have offered humanity and insight. It’s safe to say, though, that when Hollywood gives us a portrait of racial tragedy and injustice, it’s probably a tale of hope and uplift as well, a parable of moral darkness leading nobly into the light. But when you watch "Detroit," Kathryn Bigelow’s sweeping, scalding drama about the Detroit riots that took place 50 years ago, in July 1967,...
The director-writer-producer made history when she became the first woman to win the Academy Award for best director (in 2010 for “The Hurt Locker”). The film also won her a best film Oscar as a producer, and she was nominated again as a best film producer for her last feature, 2012’s “Zero Dark Thirty.”
With just 10 features on her resume, Bigelow (also an accomplished painter) has created one of the most idiosyncratic, compelling, varied — and thought-provoking — bodies of work in contemporary cinema, with subjects ranging from bomb disposal and the mission to take out Osama bin Laden to submarines, vampires and law enforcement.
After an experimental short, 1978’s “The Set-Up,” demonstrated that a girl in the boy’s club could out-direct most of them when it came to violence on-screen, she made her feature debut in 1981 with “The Loveless,” which gave Willem Dafoe his first starring role and subverted the biker gang genre. “Blue Steel” and “Point Break” amped up the action and the pace, followed by the prescient sci-fi thriller “Strange Days” (written and produced by ex-husband James Cameron). Her film “Detroit,” an Annapurna Pictures-financed drama set against Detroit’s devastating 1967 riots, was released in 2017.